F-15EX (is useless)

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.

Is the F-15EX really unnecessary?

Yes
10
31%
No
22
69%
 
Total votes : 32

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element1loop

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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 08:53

mixelflick wrote:Now roll all that into the recent headline about and F-15/AIM-120D making the "longest known air to air missile shot".


It'll need that, but even then all it will hit is something totally oblivious, and non-tactical.

F-35A won't need it but can hit anything out to similar range.
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sferrin

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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 16:39

element1loop wrote:
sferrin wrote:It's all about being able to carry large weapons. The F-35 isn't a good candidate for that. And there's nothing else on the shelf. The End.


GBU-43/B large?


No. AGM-183-ish. ALBMs or BGs. The Eagles can carry larger weapons than the F-35.
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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 17:39

sferrin wrote:
element1loop wrote:
sferrin wrote:It's all about being able to carry large weapons. The F-35 isn't a good candidate for that. And there's nothing else on the shelf. The End.


GBU-43/B large?


No. AGM-183-ish. ALBMs or BGs. The Eagles can carry larger weapons than the F-35.


What larger wrapons and why?

There is quite much space under the wings of f-35 for quite big weapons. Also there should not be severe structural weight limits with the weapons racks under the wings.
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sferrin

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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 19:40

hkultala wrote:
What larger wrapons and why?


TBD and Because They Can.

hkultala wrote:There is quite much space under the wings of f-35 for quite big weapons.


Not as much as the F-15. Also, have you seen the F-35s drop tanks?
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XanderCrews

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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 20:37

Image

1941

Image

1981


Image

2021

Please note all images separated by 40 years.

I'll stop there.
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jetblast16

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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 22:52

Something doesn't add up..

If the F-35A has all these superior sensors and SA, stealth, than in theory, it could quite easily take over the role of the F-15C/D in the Air National Guard. Further, the money being spent on the F-15EX could go to funding more F-35s...but that doesn't seem to be happening. They say that the F-15EX won't affect F-35 procurement numbers, but one would think that the monies going into the "new" F-15 could help the F-35 program, not least of which, for building jets faster.

So then we are here...but why? The "Eagle II" in many ways is a drop-in replacement to current F-15C/D ANG units, while the F-35 would require fairly significant retraining and possible new facilities, etc. at such wings. Is it really only because of political maneuvering and lobbying that the "Eagle II" exists, or are there legitimate concerns with military planners about the robustness/CPFH/maintainability/reliability/upgradeability of the F-35 air system?

Is the "homeland" defense mission that low-grade to justify the new build of an F-15, that by the USAF's own estimates would struggle to enter contested airspaces by 2028+? Is the purchasing of these "new" jets a tactic acknowledgement that the F-35 program is in many ways an undying money pit, and that money can be better spent elsewhere in lower-end missions? Note many ANG units, flying older jets with fatiguing airframes, have been called up many times in recent years to perform missions overseas, sometimes in less than benign airspaces...
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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 23:11

https://www.airforcemag.com/article/edi ... the-world/

[F-35] The Best Fighter in the World
By Tobias Naegele
March 26, 2021


There are at least three arguments for the F-35 as the most cost-effective fighter the Air Force can buy:

Stealth. When adversary forces turn on S-400 and future Chinese- and Russian-made air defense systems, what will they see? An F-35 shows up on radar as the size of mosquito. It’s not quite invisible, but it’s too small to track effectively. Eliminate its low-observable features and sure, you save some money. You also give the enemy something they will recognize: targets.

Suddenly, “cost-effectiveness” takes on a whole new light. What price shall we put on the lives of American pilots? Is America too cheap to put our sons and daughters in the best combat aircraft money can buy?

Mission efficiency. A pair of F-35s can strike multiple targets in a contested environment with no support save, perhaps, a tanker. To get two conventional fighter jets to a similarly contested target requires 10 to 20 additional aircraft. The strike jets must be accompanied by other planes to jam enemy radar, defend the attackers, and provide situational awareness. So even if the F-35 costs twice as much per flight hour as an F-16—it’s less than that, in fact—it’s still the more cost-effective option. Buying F-35s eliminates the need for other aircraft and the personnel, acquisition, training, and logistics that go with them. No economic argument against the F-35 is viable without that calculus.

To opt for a lesser aircraft is specious, like the husband who argues that instead of a car, he should get a motorcycle. He knows full well that he can’t ride in snow or rain nor ferry his family on the bike, so will ultimately need another vehicle. It’s self-deception to think otherwise.

Unlike a motorcycle, the magic of the F-35 is that it is far more than a one-for-one replacement. It buys more value for the money.


Deterrence. The most cost-effective investments in defense are the ones that, through they’re very presence, change adversaries’ plans and behavior. Why has China and Russia invested so much in air defense? Why are both pursuing stealth aircraft like the F-35? It’s because they know that without them, they don’t stand a chance against a U.S. Air Force fully equipped with F-35s.

Stealth is a disruptive game-changer. It imposes costs on the opposition. That’s part of what makes it so cost-effective itself. Failing to buy the full complement of F-35s therefore plays into their hands.

Few know better than Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. how great a threat the U.S. faces from China and the parallel threat he faces in Washington. He commanded Pacific Air Forces in his last job before becoming Chief, so he knows the area and the arc of challenges ranging from China in the south through North Korea and Russia in the north. Brown recently asked for a review of “tactical aviation” and dialed in the Defense Department’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office to help. He believes an objective, credible study can help make his case to critics like Rep. Smith.
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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 23:28

jetblast16 wrote:Something doesn't add up..


Who benefits the MOST by the F-35 program being stunted / truncated?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post25 Apr 2021, 03:00

jetblast16 wrote:Something doesn't add up..


very literally in fact.


Is it really only because of political maneuvering and lobbying that the "Eagle II" exists, or are there legitimate concerns with military planners about the robustness/CPFH/maintainability/reliability/upgradeability of the F-35 air system?



seeing as the F-15EX costs more and doesn't have many more tricks up its sleeve in terms of upgradability I think that tells you all you need.

Governments truly are magical. both the US and Canada are complaining that the F-35 is too costly and then magically finding some spare billion or so to buy other stuff too.

Really makes you think.

I mean in the FBI they'd call that a "clue" but I'm no super educated genius like those magnificent forensic accountants they employ.


flying older jets with fatiguing airframes, have been called up many times in recent years to perform missions overseas, sometimes in less than benign airspaces...


just out of curiosity what locales are you referring to post F-35A IOC (2016?)? Eastern Europe is all I can think of in terms of less than benign and in all of them F-35s, deploying F-35Bs, and F-35As have been around in Syria throughout. and F-35A deployed there europe in 2017 as well.

Theres going to be a transition phase where the older stuff deploys with the newer stuff as always happens. We had "ancient" F-4s and SLUFs and intruders liberating Kuwait in 1991 along with others stuff. Prowlers were around forever.

Hoping you clarify a little. Yes we are going to keep deploying older models of airplanes, especially in areas where the cutting edge is not as critical.

Simple game theory tells us that just like back in 2001 to the original JSF competition, "in order for Boeing to win, Lockheed had to fail" to paraphrase Bill Sweetman --of all people. That still holds true today across the globe. The F-35 is a monopoly, winner take all style program. In order for anyone else to "win", F-35 must first "lose". This is a zero-sum game as the budget is limited.
so every manufacturer that is not LM want LM to fail and thus the previously filled hole, is now reopen for business. Europe can make its pitch and Boeing can attempt to sell McDonnell Douglas's decades old fighter catalog even more.

simple as.
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Unread post25 Apr 2021, 03:13

XanderCrews wrote:so every manufacturer that is not LM want LM to fail and thus the previously filled hole, is now reopen for business. Europe can make its pitch and Boeing can attempt to sell McDonnell Douglas's decades old fighter catalog even more.


And who wins -- who benefits the most -- if the West loses it's 5th generation voonderplane which must be replaced by gen 4 / 4.5 aircraft (e.g. MacDac's "decades old fighter catalog")
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post25 Apr 2021, 03:31

jetblast16 wrote: Is the purchasing of these "new" jets a tactic acknowledgement that the F-35 program is in many ways an undying money pit,


*Tacit

Be US military in 1990s.

>Create fighter that will be used by all 3 services
>Biggest defense program in history
>Take length of service out to 2070s to rack up 1+ trillion dollar bill
>Complain that its an undying "money pit" not even a 1/3 of the way thru its lifespan.
>starts trillion + dollar program. mad when costs are trillion + dollars.

Image


Yes, it not supposed to "die" until the 2070s and the "pit" size was a 1 trillion dollar program from the start.

Gov: we want this fighter for the next 60+ years.

Industry: Ok it will cost 1 trillion.

Gov: Sure! think of the savings!

*Not even 400 billion later*

Gov: Hey this thing costs like a trillion dollars!! what a money pit!! better buy even more stuff on top of it! Think of the saving!

Image

USAF barely scraping by
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Unread post25 Apr 2021, 17:21

There seems to be a trend in the USAF of fielding the "next generation" platform, only to somewhat neglect it after it is fielded for the "next greatest/ latest thing". If you look at what happened to the F-22 Raptor, that system was prematurely cancelled, and funds to upgrade it, to make it more relevant trickled in over the years, while near full attention was applied to the F-35, the "next best thing". Now we have NGAD, the "the latest and greatest thing", which will undoubtedly begin to chip away at funding for critical upgrades to the F-35. Watch.
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Unread post25 Apr 2021, 17:31

The Air Force’s most important program faces increased scrutiny as high costs, low availability, and other problems continue.
...
Mid-month, at a hearing of the HASC’s Readiness subcommittee, Chairman Rep. John Garamendi complained “the entire F-35 system is of enormous concern.”

“We buy more planes,” Garamendi said, but “we’re not able to maintain the older ones. So the more we buy, the worse overall performance has been. That is going to stop.”
...
“Lockheed Martin is still confident that $25K by 2025 is achievable, and I’m still not brimming with confidence.” Assuming a 3 percent inflation rate on current costs, maintenance would have to come down more than 35 percent to meet that target.

The stakes couldn’t be higher: The Air Force needs “a capable, available, and affordable F-35 as part of a deliberate fighter force design to outpace any competitors,” he said.
...
The Air Force wants to step it up, though, Kelly said, aiming to “progress from [performing] ‘very well in contested environments’ to ‘outstanding in highly contested environments,’” and that requires the Technical Refresh 3 upgrade, which “unlocks” the jet’s Block 4 improvements.

Tech Refresh 3—or TR3 for short—comprises a new core processor, a radar upgrade and a new cockpit display, as well as numerous software improvements, including enhanced electronic warfare capabilities. Block 4 is the Air Force’s preferred model.
...
The Air Force’s program of record remains unchanged at 1,763 F-35As. But at the current rate of 60 per year, it will be the early 2040s before that objective is attained.
...
Getting to the right version has been one factor slowing down the program. A Joint Program Office (JPO) spokeswoman said in March that some services have “had to rephase” their F-35 buying plans or “decided that they’d rather buy later and hold on for the Block 4 capability.”
...
Kelly said the Air Force is keenly aware that it cannot afford the luxury of taking decades to develop new aircraft, and acknowledged the F-35 is taking too long.
...
Time now is critical. Block 4 F-35s “can compete and win in a peer fight,” he said. “So we need TR3 to show up on time.”
...
The Air Force is indeed looking at other options. Kelly took pains at the Aerospace Warfare Symposium to argue in favor of the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program and developing that sixth-generation capability before China does.

“I don’t know … if our nation will have the courage and the focus to field this capability before someone like the Chinese fields it and uses it against us,” he said in a video press conference. The U.S. way of war assumes control of the air, he said, and “it’s less designed to operate without it.”

A new joint-service combat aircraft study now underway will assess the needs of the combat air force and what mix of aircraft it will need in the future. That mix will likely include NGAD, F-35, the F-15EX, and unmanned aircraft, which could be armed or provide electronic warfare escort. Also in the offing could be a lower-cost, manned aircraft for use in low-threat environments, and low-cost “attritable” unmanned aircraft designed for use in dozens of missions or more, but cheap enough that their loss in combat would be acceptable.
...
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) pegged low mission capable rates to parts shortages in April 2019 and progress continues to be slow. With suppliers producing multiple versions of parts—not just for the A, B and C models, but also for different configurations of each—it has proven difficult to get enough spares. Adding to the complexity, available parts must be shared among the 16 partner countries of the F-35. The GAO faulted the U.S. military services for not having a comprehensive tally of the F-35 parts they owned and where they were. It reported that parts taken along for Marine Corps F-35 deployments sometimes proved incompatible with the planes that deployed.

Faster parts turnaround at the depots could help, but so far gains in aircraft availability have come because jets increasingly come in a common configuration, program officials reported.
...
An industry official noted that as the development phase of the F-35 winds down, there should be more stability in the engine configuration, and that will allow suppliers to focus on a smaller pool of variant parts, increasing availability.

“Basically, the spares they predicted [were] for the mature phase of the program, and we are only getting there now,” an industry official said. “But that means we go into this phase with … a backlog.”

Industry officials also said that Pratt’s suppliers are not keeping up with the pace the company is asking of them. Officials said the F135 pipeline has a cushion of about 12 percent spare engines and modules, when it really should have 25 to 30 percent. Because Pratt is ahead on delivering engines, a Pentagon official said, talks are underway about producing additional engines and modules.

“You can have fewer engines if your depot is quick in turning them around,” an industry official said. “If the depot’s not up to speed, then you’ll have shortages.”
...
Lockheed and the JPO are midway through switching out the F-35’s beleaguered Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS, in favor of a rebranded and upgraded Operational Data Integrated Network, or ODIN. The old system was based on 20-year-old technology, Lockheed officials said, and needed a massive refresh. The new system is expected to be more secure, produce fewer errors, and easier to use.

ODIN will fully take over from ALIS in late 2022, providing improved insight into F-35 parts usage and service actions, and enabling improved predictive maintenance.

If the various efforts to improve F-35 sustainment bear fruit, the Air Force may actually get close to 1,763 Lightning IIs in its inventory. But at the current pace, and with other projects clamoring for funds and attention, the F-35 could turn out to be just a bridge to the future combat air force, rather than the destination once envisioned.

Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/article/mak ... -the-f-35/
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Unread post25 Apr 2021, 17:33

I question some of the engineering and assumptions that went into the F-35.

But due to challenges in developing and testing some of those new technologies, as well as continued schedule delays, the U.S. Defense Department’s most recent estimate in 2020 shows that Block 4 development is now projected to reach $14.4 billion, the GAO said.

Meanwhile, the modernization effort — which was initially expected to wrap up in 2026 — is now scheduled to conclude one year later, though the GAO noted that the schedule is based on “estimates formulated at the start of the Block 4 effort” and not Lockheed’s demonstrated performance. Therefore, it is possible “the scheduled 2027 completion date is not achievable,” the watchdog stated.

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/03 ... in-a-year/
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Unread post25 Apr 2021, 18:21

jetblast16 wrote:I question some of the engineering


Do tell

jetblast16 wrote:and assumptions that went into the F-35.


These would be? Care to delineate those assumptions?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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